Get the Unpack Your Impact Book!

Books as Mirrors and Windows (As Defined by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop)

By Naomi O'Brien


Have you ever heard about books being thought about as a window or a mirror? Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop has some insightful knowledge to share about that concept.
My teaching partner, LaNesha Tabb, and I love teaching our kindergarten and first grade students about this concept! Mirrors are books that contain story lines, characters, and experiences you can see yourself in. You can make personal connections to these books. You feel seen and heard after reading a book that is a mirror. A book that is a window helps you see into the life or experience of someone else. You may not be able to relate, but you can learn and grow from that story line or the book’s characters. When LaNesha and I present books to our students as windows and mirrors, it helps us reflect about the books we read in a meaningful way. It also helps us pick the books we expose our students to. We like to have a good balance of windows and mirrors. Our goal is to always build perspective through the picture books we choose, so we are very picky about what we place in front of our students, and WHY we placed it in front of them.

LaNesha and I intentionally choose texts that are diverse and complex. We use this texts to teach all of the CCSS to our students over the course of a week. We also choose a perspective from the book and guide them towards this new knowledge by building background knowledge, learning vocabulary, using thinking maps, and asking higher order standards based questions. At the end of each lesson, we seek to introduce a meaningful and relevant task for our students so they can put all of their learning together and apply what they have learned.

Click on the image below to be brought to our lessons!

We help our students build a portfolio of perspectives by having them reflect about a lesson the book taught them. They also explain why the book was a window or a mirror for them. Then they explain the perspective learned. Imagine what you could build over the course of year with the titles you choose to put in front of your students!

This resource is free. Head to my homepage and sign up for my Free Resource Library to access all of my freebies, including this one. You’ll be emailed the password after you sign-up!



Hi, I'm Naomi

I have been teaching elementary students for over 10 years. Effective reading instruction and accurate social studies at the primary level are huge passions of mine! 

Let's Connect

Free Resource Library

Join the email list to receive exclusive freebies and stay up to date! Sign up and the password will be sent to your inbox right now! ​

You might also like...

2 Responses

  1. Hello! Are the Windows and Mirrors posters shown above available anywhere? I checked your TpT site and could not find them. They are perfect for a display I am planning at our school. Thank you for any information you can share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Thank you for your interest in booking a private professional development experience! Please fill out our Booking Inquiry form and a member of our team will contact you soon.